Apple Faces Lawsuit Over Half of Breaking Bad’s Final Season
On Friday, August 29, Judge Davila of the court of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed two of three consumer class action claims against Apple stemming from its sale of the final season of AMC’s Breaking Bad.
Angry Apple customer, Dr. Noam Lazebnik, was irritated to learn that his $22.99 purchase of the final season of Breaking Bad only included the first 8 episodes. In 2012, Apple advertised the price for “all current and future episodes of Breaking Bad, Season 5,” which AMC split into two broadcasting segments, one year apart. Once the second 8 episodes of the final season were broadcast in 2013, Lazebnik learned he would need to pay Apple again for access. Consumers who already paid were refunded, but Lazebnik wanted what he was told he paid for, the entire 5th and final season of Breaking Bad.
Lazebnik brought his suit in the Northern District of California in September of 2013, alleging breach of contract and violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedy Act and Unfair Competition Law. Apple then filed a motion to dismiss on the pleadings, relying heavily on the fact that Lazenbik didn’t make the purchase; his son-in-law did. In the complaint, plaintiff alleges he directed his son-in-law to purchase the final season through iTunes with his credit card.
The judge dismissed plaintiff’s claim of breach of contract because Lazebnik was not a party to a contract with Apple as he did not make the purchase. Also, the judge dismissed the CLR claim, ruling that the episodes purchased are not a “good” or “tangible chattel” as required by the statute. Lazebnik’s Unfair Competition claim did survive, however, as a jury will be required to determine whether Apple’s representations were likely to deceive a reasonable customer.